Mobile users who are on the go have something to cheer about now. According to Telecom Secretary R Chandrasekhar, the Government is planning to scrap off roaming charges paid by users travelling across India by 2013. It may be recalled that Mr. Kapil Sibal, Minister of Communications and IT had announced a ‘One nation-free roaming’ plan earlier this year.
Finance ministry has asked telecom department to provide strategies for the implementation of the plan. Union cabinet had approved ‘National Telecom Policy-2012’ in May which had similar clauses to take off nation-wide roaming costs. A unified license would be issued to mobile phone companies as per the policy which will enable them to offer all communication services to users.
This consumer-friendly move by the Indian Government might affect the revenues of the Telecom operators since the roaming charges being levied by them accounts to almost 10% of their annual sales revenue.
Telecom Secretary, R. Chandrasekhar stated, “Our first priority is the upcoming spectrum auctions. At the same time, we are working on the Unified License (UL) and we want to finalise this by December.”He clarified ‘One nation-free roaming’ would come into effect when the Unified license regime is finalized.
Though he didn’t specify an exact time for the roll out of this policy, he expressed hope that this would happen sometime in 2013.